Friday, June 19, 2009

The History Of The Mini Cooper

It's one of the most iconic cars in the world, but how did the Mini Cooper come to fruition? The inventor of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis, had always intended on the Mini being the car for the everyman, but his good friend John Cooper, who owned the Cooper Car Company specialising in Formula 1 and rally car design, had the foresight to see that the Mini would be suited to motorsport so Cooper approached Issigonis with his ideas, but Issigonis was reluctant as he had never intended his brain child for racing.

Cooper was determined to have his way so approached BMC, they approved and commissioned the idea and the rest is history... The first Mini Cooper's stuck to Issigonis's model of being a small and economic car, but with that extra poke up the backside which it into one of the most popular sports cars in history.

After the Mini Cooper became so popular since hitting the market in 1961, two years later Cooper designed a more powerful Cooper, the Mini Cooper S, which won the Monte Carlo Rally three times between 1964-67 which added to the acclaim of the little hot hatch.

Through the years various different models of the Mini Cooper have been produced as the motoring trade evolved along with innovations in mechanical engineering, design and technology. And of course the Mini Cooper became a British icon, synonymous with British cinema following the Italian Job and was also incredibly popular with some of the world's most famous celebrities including John Lennon and Steve McQueen.

By the millennium, Rover had encountered financial problems and the Mini line was completely taken over by BMW, with Rover's other Marques, MG and Land Rover being sold to Pheonix and Ford respectively. The Mini Cooper continued to be produced by Rover on a temporary basis until the last ever Mini Cooper was produced on October 4 2000 - a red Cooper Sport - which was presented to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust.

The Mini Cooper was no longer. The Mini Cooper is dead, long live the MINI Cooper. Of course BMW had plans to revamp the Mini, now known as 'MINI', and the Cooper was to be dragged into the new millennium in style.

The MINI Cooper is mechanically and technically unrelated to the original Cooper but bears distinct aesthetic similarities as well as some mechanical ones including front-wheel drive and the transverse four cylinder engine model.

The new Cooper and Cooper S became instant successes, escalated by the remake of the classic film, The Italian Job, which paid homage to the original film and featured three super charged Cooper S's which got the juices flowing of car enthusiast across the globe.

Of course there were purists who did not agree with BMW discounting production of the 'old' Mini and those who criticised the MINI as being a small BMW with no soul or character, but you only have to look at the numbers to see what a success the MINI, and in particular the MINI Cooper has been.

After only six years of production at MINI's Oxford plant, the one millionth MINI was produced, and it remains one of the most prudent cars you can buy as it depreciates at a considerably lesser rate than many other cars.

John Cooper was right to follow his heart and bypass his friend Issigonis in order to push through the production of what is today an iconic motor car.

Author Resource:-> Shaun Parker is a motoring expert with many years of experience in the motor industry. Find out more about MINI Cooper at

Article From Article Emporium